All posts tagged: New Body Chiropractic

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 9th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I agreed with.  I watched a video from someone I really respect this week speaking about the “Rule of 100.”  This concept means that if you were to spend 100 hours this year (18 minutes per day) working on any discipline (fitness, hobby, learning a new skill, etc.) then you would become more proficient in that area than 95% of the population. 

I gave this much thought and I believe it to be true.  Commonly, we think the people we see succeeding in an area or endeavor as being more gifted and talented than us.  That is not always the case.  Consistent, daily efforts even for small amounts of time can lead to tremendous growth.  As this continues, the base of experience and knowledge multiplies, and you begin to pull away from your competition that is not as consistently disciplined.  If you have something you want to improve, use the 100 Hour Rule to your advantage.

A story that proves a lesson.  I heard a story this week about one of the top quarterback prospects in the recent NFL draft.  At a rookie dinner, players who were soon be drafted in the first round, left the restaurant a mess.  A representative from one of the teams happened to show up at the end of that dinner to witness this and was surprised to see the quarterback they’d been considering cleaning up the room after the other players left.  The player did not know anyone was watching him but cleaned the room because he felt it was disrespectful the way it was left, and his mom would not have been proud. 

With contracts in the millions of dollars and the differences between talent being razor thin, it can be difficult to decide who to draft.  The team that saw the quarterback tending to that mess selected him in the top 5 of the draft.  They saw this as confirmation of the leadership skills they hoped he possessed.  To me, this is a reminder of a crucial life lesson that how you do anything, is how you’ll do everything.  The same principles, standards, and effort that you apply to the smallest of your tasks and responsibilities will carry over to the most important things you do and will be noticed by all. 

A piece of advice I recently gave.  I was asked by someone attempting their first 100-mile race for my advice and experience in competing in these runs.  They were interested in how I handled things later in my races when I start moving (even) slower and the pain intensifies with each step.  I told them “The key is that the old you will have to die with each step and the new you will have to take its place.”  This means that each step further will be harder but will bring you closer to the goal and reduce some of your doubt and anxiety that you can get there.

This same advice applies to all aspects of life as well.  Each time you venture even slightly out of your comfort zone, you gain a small amount of confidence.  Initially you will not notice, but over time it magnifies.  Soon, through continuous resolve, you begin to view yourself as someone who can handle even the toughest challenges.  Much like in my 100-mile races, that belief will not happen all at once but will increase with each step forward.  Let the old you go as you build an even better one slowly each day.

Something I believe.  Have you ever tried to have a respectful discussion with someone only to have them shout you down and insist on having the last condescending word?  Or finished a competition or sporting event with someone taunting you?  This is a form of trying to humiliate and embarrass someone you are competing with.  I do not like that type of behavior. 

Leaving an opponent with their dignity is something I believe in.  This is true in sports as well as disagreements or issues we may have with people in our lives.  In no way does this mean we have to concede our beliefs or diminish our victory or efforts.  Rather, it is merely a small gesture that acknowledges our opponent had passion and desire as we did, even if we don’t like them.  Win or lose, this type of behavior shows strength of character and therefore must be practiced.

Some quotes I love.

“Some of the best advice I’ve been given:  Don’t take criticism from people you would never go to for advice.” – Morgan Freeman

“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – never lie to yourself.”

“Actions speak louder than words but not nearly as often.” – Mark Twain

“Success waits for no one.  Time waits for no one.” – Ray Care

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 9th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 2nd

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A recent reminder.  I had an interaction last week with someone I have known for 25 years.  The exchange may as well have come with a script because the talking points, excuses, and tone were the same as they were decades ago.  As unfortunate as that can be to deal with, it provides an important reminder.

Before any change or growth can occur, there must first be a willingness to do so.  Without that desire, the same patterns will continue to play out, especially in times of stress or discomfort.  When a person becomes willing to change, it does not mean that everything will be perfect immediately.  Rather, it is merely an admission there is behavior creating an undesirable result that needs to be addressed.  That allows for an environment where change becomes possible, and growth can occur.

Something I love.  For many years now, I have run with the American flag on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and September 11th.  It’s admittedly a small gesture, but I take great pride in this small show of patriotism and love for this country. 

On Monday, I completed the Murph Challenge and then ran another 6 miles with the flag.  During those miles, I had some amazing experiences with people I encountered on foot and others in their vehicles.  I had people salute the flag, ask to take pictures with me, and as I came to a traffic light; all the cars stopped in each direction to let me go and cheered as I did so.  It was very cool to witness these displays of patriotism up close.  I have been blessed to complete many races over the years, but running with the flag fills me with even more pride than those finishes.  What makes it so special is that I am just an anonymous guy carrying the flag.  All the reactions I get are for the symbol I carry, and it truly energizes me and gives me faith each time I do so!

A simple but important concept.  “I was going to.”  “I was thinking about.”  “I might decide to…”  These are all ways of saying that you were considering an action and then did nothing.  This is extremely common in almost any aspect of life you can imagine.  The simple truth is inaction is rarely the correct plan of action.

Pursuing a course of action does not guarantee it will go perfectly.  In fact, there is a likelihood it will not go as planned.  However, putting things into motion creates a willingness to continue attempting different methods to attain a certain result.  You become less afraid to fail and more determined to succeed.  Conversely, inaction creates paralysis by analysis.  You become so afraid to fail thinking you’re not ready or prepared that you talk yourself out of even attempting anything.  Ironically, this guarantees you will not succeed.  If there is something you want to gain or achieve, start acting rather than wishing or hoping it will happen for you.

Something I agreed with.  I heard someone speaking recently about how going through the motions is not the same as being present and completing something with purpose and intention.  In our hectic society, this is an important distinction to make.  Doing something to cross it off our list usually sets the bar of effort low.  For example, setting aside time to be with our children and being on our phone the whole time is not the same as being with them, enjoying, and interacting with them.  It can be the same amount of time spent but with two different outcomes.

Whether it’s a workout, time with friends or family, business endeavors, or anything else; give what you’re doing all your energy.  Doing so will exponentially increase the output of your efforts.  You will be amazed at the difference in your results versus just going through the motions.  Be less concerned with merely getting stuff done and more concerned with getting things accomplished well.     

Some quotes I love.

“The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg.  It’s what you’re made of not the circumstances.” – Unknown

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.”

“Learn to be done.  Not mad, not bothered, just done.  Protect your peace at all costs.” 

“My life is my message.” – Ghandhi

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 2nd
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 26th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A good reminder.  Last Friday, I was stopped at a traffic light with my two oldest sons when we were hit from behind by another vehicle.  We pulled over and I got out of the car to handle things.  The woman who hit us felt bad and was apologetic.  I made sure she was doing ok, provided her with some medical advice, and we swapped information.  When I got back in the car, my oldest son commented that my reaction was not what he would have expected after someone hit us. 

He remarked that I was smiling and seemed to be going out of my way to help the woman who caused the accident.  I told him that was because it was not the end of the world, and I don’t believe in making people feel worse when they’re down.  Furthermore, I would not consider myself a man if I berated or did not help a woman that was obviously upset, hurting, and having a bad day.  Later that night, my son told me he was proud of how I handled the situation.  This was a reminder to me that children will always learn more from actions than they ever will from words. 

Something I believe.  When you take something with substance and strength and water it down, it will lose potency.  This is true of beverages as well as life.  If you water down your principles, your character will not be as strong.  When you water down your standards from “great” to “good enough”, your results will suffer. 

When we water things down, it is usually because they challenge us physically, mentally, spiritually, or more.  It is a protective mechanism our minds provide to us so that we don’t feel bad for not following through as we intended, decreasing our level of effort, compromising our standards, or straying from a path we know we should be following.  Don’t allow yourself to settle for anything watered down.  If you have convictions about how you should be living, do not allow yourself to settle for a lesser version of them. 

Something important to understand.  We all know people that blame anyone or anything for problems.  From employers, to friends, family, the government, weather, bad luck, you name it; there is an endless list of people and things to blame for shortcomings or lack of progress.   While this is common, it is far from effective.  It’s crucial to realize that when we blame outside factors for our failures, we are essentially giving power to those things. 

The process of blaming someone/something foolishly absolves you of responsibility and places it elsewhere.  This simple act strips you of your own power and gives it to others. You’re essentially telling yourself that you are not strong enough to overcome outside factors, and that you’ll only succeed when things are perfect, or you are allowed to do so.  When you accept full ownership over your actions, this changes immediately.   That mindset creates the strength and fortitude to face whatever challenges you may encounter, and you will remain focused only on the path forward and outcomes you desire.

Something that resonated with me.  I watched a docuseries on Connor McGregor this week on Netflix.  One thing really caught my attention.  He talked about how when he trains, he is always fully focused and gives his all and that has never been an issue.  However, he goes on to say that what he does outside the gym makes all the difference.  When he starts eating foods he said he shouldn’t, sleeping later than he said he would, and being less intentional with what he knows he should be doing; his results suffer. 

I have found this to be true as well.  When we are chasing a major goal, every choice we make either brings us closer toward it or further from it.  Interestingly, it is often the small choices that provide short term comfort such as sleeping in, eating poorly, over-indulging, skipping activities, and more that ultimately sabotage the long-term goal.  It is easy to stay focused when doing things we enjoy.  However, if we can remain disciplined and diligent when we are not doing those things, our results will only become enhanced.

Some quotes I love.

“The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will be comfortable.” – Connor McGregor

“People are strange; they are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.” = Charles Bukowski

“Self-love isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, self-love means that kick your own ass when you need it.”  – Brandi MacDonald

“Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.”  – George Bernard Shaw

“Nine times out of ten you will underestimate your own capabilities and capacity, and you’ll overestimate someone else’s.  And that’s the number one reason you’re not where you want to be in life.” – Bedros Keuilian

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 26th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 19th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something that motivates me.  Before I got married to my wife in 2017, we met several times with the pastor that married us.  Among the great advice he shared, I remember him saying “Matt, with the wrong woman, a man will not accomplish much.  However, when he has the right woman behind him to encourage him, he can accomplish anything.”  I have found this to be true.

My wife makes a habit of telling me that she is proud of me.  Sometimes it’s for how I volunteer my time, interact with my kids, handle a situation, or display certain principles.  Other times, she just tells me that I’m a good man and she’s proud to be my wife.  Regardless, those simple words motivate me more than I can express.  When I am living in an exemplary fashion, my wife takes the time to encourage it.  This makes me want to do even better for our family and in all aspects of my life.

A good reminder.  I have been coaching my current football team since 2018 when most of my players were 7 or 8 years old.  We have always been decent but took a lot of lumps along the way.  Our greatest losses prompted our biggest changes and trust me, there were many.  Slowly we have gelled over the last 2 seasons into a dominant team.  Now that we are at this higher level, we are not well-liked, even though my players are all humble and play the game as it should be played.

The reason for this is simple.  When you begin to achieve at a high level, no one ever understands or realizes what went into getting there.  They were not there to see you feel humiliated, suffer losses, question yourself, or rebuild from the bottom.  To them, you may just be lucky or acting unfairly.  The road to success is paved in the dark and once it reaches the light, few will understand or respect what it took to get there.  This will be true in sports as well as any other endeavor you can imagine.  Do not let this upset you, use it instead as a reminder of how far you have come.

A recent interaction.  There is someone that I had been helping for months for free because they were in a tough situation.  I provided them with my best efforts and progress continued to be made.  However, after a period I began to feel taken advantage of.  I was doing my part, but they were not following up with the advice or guidance I was giving for them to follow outside of my care.  As a result, I decided that I no longer wanted to work for free.  Immediately, this caused this person to want to do more on their own to help themselves because they would now need to pay me (or someone like me) for treatments.

This brought up two lessons I believe in.  First, you must want to participate in your own rescue if it is to be successful.  In other words, if you care more about someone achieving a positive result than they do, it is destined to fail.  They should want the goal even more than you want it for them.  Furthermore, this situation can become like attempting to rescue a panicked swimmer from the ocean, they will drag you down with them if you’re not careful.  When you are giving your time and effort to help someone, make sure it is being valued and respected.  Otherwise, it will be of no benefit to either party.

Something that always helps me.  We all go through tough times and slumps in life.  This can occur in business, relationships, exercise, nutrition, hobbies, and more.  When I find myself in situations like this, I find tremendous value in going back to basics.  Returning to the most fundamental aspects of an endeavor quickly rebuilds me.

For example, if I find myself frustrated or overwhelmed running my chiropractic business, I pretend it’s 18 years ago and I am brand new in practice.  This gets me even more excited to see my patients, explain what I’m doing, and take pride in their results.  I focus on making sure the office looks even better, brainstorming ideas to make the business grow, and much more.  The point is that I take my focus from what is bothering me and return it back to the essentials that have built me.  Flipping that switch never fails me and always reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for.  I use it in business, training, and so much more.

Some quotes I love.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

“I will not coax other men to join the mission.  I will not beg my wife to partner in this life.  I will not bribe my kids to grow wise.  I will lead.  The rest takes care of itself.” – Matt Beaudreau

“To whom much is given, much will be required.” – Luke 12:48

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 19th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 12th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I teach my children.  In Colorado, it is common to encounter a rattlesnake.  The best practice is to be on the lookout for them, and if you do see one; obviously avoid it.  Life has its own rattlesnakes to avoid as well.  I feel three are particularly crucial for young people to be wary of.

The first is drugs and alcohol.  Young brains take time to develop personality, confidence and more.  Adding in these chemicals creates a reliance upon them as opposed to what is inside of the person.  Second, bad relationships can become an anchor that drags you to the bottom.  The wrong boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse can separate you from family, destroy your confidence, stunt your progress, and so much more.  Finally, the wrong friendships can be a problem as well.  The right friends will want to see you succeed and have your best interests at heart.  Conversely, the wrong ones will pressure you into poor choices if it suits them.  Beware of the rattlesnakes of life and avoid them.

Something I heard and loved.  Our pastor used the term “weapons of mass distraction” last weekend.  This is a term to describe the amount of pointless stuff constantly coming at us and distracting us from our goals, duties, and dreams.  Examples include social media, television, biased news, and many others. 

It’s a solid exercise to ask yourself how much of your time is dedicated to the people and activities you value most, and how much goes to fluff.  For example, if a young child is trying to interact with a parent focused only on playing Candy Crush, I would argue they are succumbing to a weapon of mass distraction.  None of us will focus one hundred percent of the time, but we must understand that we are under constant attack from distractions and must protect ourselves from them.

An interesting interaction.  I was speaking to someone this week about their struggles with nutrition.  They expressed to me their frustration with not losing weight, but also told me they make sure to never deprive themselves of any foods they want.  I found this interesting because the foods they did not want to deprive themselves of were all high in sugar and low in nutrients. 

My feeling is that avoiding things that stall or prevent progress is not “depriving” you of anything.  Rather, it is discipline and a practice that should be followed.  Big goals require sacrifice.  Therefore, they will demand discipline in what we eat, our activities, habits, time management, and/or so much more.  The road to success will often require us to eliminate things that feel comfortable but are not helpful.  Don’t view that as a negative, see it as the discipline that all successful people utilize.  Changing your mindset in this regard will be your biggest accomplishment. 

A recent lesson.  Last weekend, I coached against another coach that behaved worse than any I’ve ever experienced in my high school, college, or coaching career.  He personally insulted multiple players on my team (including my own son) that are 12 or 13 years old.  If that was not enough, he yelled at the young referees on every play, argued the correct score, twice offered to fight me, and once even put his hands on me.  In short, he was unhinged.

Normally, if someone were to put a hand on me, I would not hesitate to act.  However, in this situation I remained as calm as possible and let him know in front of everyone what I thought of his behavior and how pathetic his antics were.  The reason I did so was that sometimes even if you are in the right, you can react wrongly.  Knocking out another coach in front of teenagers was not the lesson they needed or the consequences I wanted to face.  Instead, I held my ground, made some humorous remarks, called out his terrible behavior, then walked away victorious with my team.  Later, three of their players walked away from their coach/sideline and asked if they could come to our team and play for me next season.  I’m sure I didn’t handle it perfectly, but I was glad I did not react to horrible behavior with some of my own. 

Some quotes I love.

“Coach them hard and hug them later.” – Bear Bryant

“A fool contributes nothing worth hearing and takes offense at everything.” – Aristotle

“When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘why me’ say ‘try me’.”

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 12th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 5th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A business concept I believe in.  Have you ever done business with someone and had them justify a poor performance, mistake, or missed deadline with excuses involving specific issues at their company or within their personal life?  I’m sure you have, and I have encountered this recently myself.  Rather than owning up to an error, this is often common practice.

In a business relationship, people are paying money to receive a product or service.  Therefore, they are not interested in the inner workings of a company or someone’s life.  They do not want to know how the sausage is made; they just want to taste it.  I believe that in business, we should honor our word and make a full effort to deliver the goods.  In the event we fall short for some unforeseen reason, it is far better to own our mistake rather than make excuses no one needs (or cares) to hear.  When people hire us for a result, it is best to focus on delivering that to them above all else.

Something I loved.  I heard someone recently mention that when it comes to our talents and skills, we are either in the process of building or burying them.  Building them entails working on our craft, learning new skills, mastering our methods, practicing, refining our processes, assessing mistakes, seeking solutions, and more.  Burying our skills would be the opposite.  Not actively working to improve will slowly cause our level of skill and performance to decrease.

Talents and skills are perishable and must be nurtured frequently.  I think it’s an excellent exercise to consider what areas of life you would like to improve in.  Then, begin implementing a specific routine and practices to facilitate that.  Always remember that when it comes to your skills, you are either getting better or slowly getting worse.  Anything that you want to improve upon must become a priority if change is to be made. 

A question to ask yourself.  An important question that I use to drive my behavior is “Am I being a victim or a victor?”  A victim mentality focuses on circumstances, luck (or lack thereof), the behavior of others, and the like.  The mentality of a victor is centered on believing in oneself, making the best of any situation, and finding a path to success regardless of any outside factors.

Like everyone, I’ve taken some big losses in my life.  Before the age of 38, those losses would stay with me for months and even years.  I would often struggle to move past them and pushing forward became more difficult because I was so focused on the past.  Now, I have trained myself to persevere regardless of circumstances.  When something bad happens or goes wrong, I am certainly not thrilled.  However, I view it as an obstacle rather than a dead end.  I accept where I’m at, work hard toward a solution, and never quit.  It’s not glamorous but it is effective.  With whatever you may be facing, ask yourself if you’re being a victim or a victor. 

Something I notice.  I am fascinated by how others attain success.  For businesses, this can include philosophies, processes, decision making, or things specific to the field or industry.  With individuals, I am most interested in their mindset and habits.  What I always notice is that there are traits that seem to be common among the most successful.

One thing I have noticed countless times is how successful people do not allow their feelings to sidetrack them.  They don’t work hard only when they feel motivated, don’t do things only when it fits their schedule perfectly, and never wait to be in the right mood to follow through on their responsibilities.  They prioritize the end goal over how they feel in the moment.  Conversely, those that are not successful often allow their feelings to interfere with progress.  The goal becomes secondary to their moods, and thus the goal cannot succeed.  Your feelings are important, but can be unreliable and often lead you to accomplish less while feeling overwhelmed.  If you have something you want to achieve, put your feelings aside and remain focused only on that.      

Some quotes I love.

“One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to fact.” – C.S. Lewis

“If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.” – Steve Jobs

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good for the great.” – Steve Prefontaine

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 5th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 28th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I hear often.  I would estimate that at least 4-5 times per month, I speak to a man that tells me he doesn’t take care of himself like he once did because he’s married and/or no longer an athlete.  The implication being that staying in shape is no longer relevant once you’re in a long-term relationship or not actively participating in athletics.  You will not be surprised to hear that I do not care for this way of thinking. 

When I hear this from other men, it always sounds like a form of giving up and complacency to me.  Caring for yourself physically and nutritionally goes far beyond esthetic benefits.  It is a form of self-respect that you are displaying (or not) to the rest of the world.  When a person takes diligent care of themselves, they are more likely to enjoy the people and events around them more because they are happier, more confident, and energetic.  For these reasons, anytime I hear someone tell me they no longer intend to care for themselves, I always urge them to reconsider. 

Something that motivates me.  There is a quote from Vince Lombardi I have loved for years, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”  As we get tired, we lose our drive, focus, motivation, level of commitment, and more.  I’ve seen this countless times in athletics, but it has applications to daily life as well.

For me, the potential for fatigue comes in the form of excessive stress, poor nutrition, lack of body movement, exhausting relationships, negativity, too much social media, and the like.  That fatigue has the potential to make me a “coward” with my spouse, children, patients, and players I coach.  Specifically, I would not have the energy to go the extra mile for them when I’m needed most.  Therefore, to avoid fatigue I do my best to eat well, exercise often, spend time around those people and groups that uplift me, and avoid staring into my screen and pointlessly scrolling too often.   Consider how fatigue might be affecting your life, output, and relationships and take steps to improve it.

A good reminder.  Earlier this week I was speaking with some friends about an organization we are all familiar with.  Each of us cares about this organization but unfortunately, all had recent experiences with them centering around lack of follow through, not honoring commitments, and a lack of appreciation for those trying to help.  My friends attempted to make excuses for this poor behavior and asked if I agreed.  I did not.

Principles and integrity cost a business nothing.  You can have no employees or money in the bank and still be able to follow through on your word and say thank you to someone helping you.  When this is not done, it is a giant red flag.  To me, this is a sign that there are problems at the top and things are drifting off course.  It may not be noticeable immediately, but eventually will show in terms of attendance and/or finances.  Forgetting who you are and not prioritizing the people and things important to you is a path to the destruction of any business (or person). 

Something I believe.  When someone says that they are competitive, there can often be a negative connotation associated with it.  As if it means you automatically overturn a table if you don’t win at Monopoly or freak out if you make a mistake.  To me, that is being overly emotional and irrational.  Being competitive is much different and I believe crucial.

Competition in my eyes involves being able to put forth your best effort in whatever you do.  It raises the stakes and forces you to consider what is required to improve upon past performance.  This can be true in competitive sports, work, or a run around the block.  Being competitive trains you to have higher standards and expectations for yourself.  Furthermore, it creates more comfort in challenging yourself because you understand you can always improve, even if you are to fall short in something.  Regardless of what it is, be competitive in how you approach anything because you will find it leads to greater outcomes.   

Some quotes I love.

“You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.” – Brian Tracy

“In the long run, we only hit what we aim at.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.” – Usain Bolt

“Eating junk food is so common that eating healthy is labelled as dieting.” – Jonathan Goodman

“Hard choices, easy life.  Easy choices, hard life.” – Jerzy Gregorek

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 28th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 21st

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something that inspired me.  On Friday night, my wife and I volunteered at a Starry Night Prom event.  This is a wonderful event thrown for people with physical and/or mental handicaps that is structured like a prom with dressing up, a red-carpet walk, sit down dinner, dancing, karaoke, and more.  My wife and I were “buddies” that were paired up with a date for the evening.  It was incredibly special.

I was inspired to see a group of people that have undoubtedly suffered many challenges, have amazing moments for themselves.  Watching people walk the red carpet with smiles on their faces, high fiving, twirling, waving, and more was emotional in a beautiful way.  All night I saw people enjoying moments that were important to them on the dance floor, singing karaoke, and more.  It fueled my soul to see some special people enjoying a little taste of the spotlight.  It’s nice to have exceptional moments for ourselves but it was more amazing to see such deserving people also have wonderful moments!

Something I believe.  I was consulted this week by two people regarding how best to help some of their clients with adhering to better nutrition and exercise.  These particular people are in their 40’s and often fail to follow the advice they paid to receive.  I was asked whether I thought they needed to be encouraged constantly to get “wins throughout the day” or whether I thought they needed tough love.

In instances where mistakes are being made but the effort is high, I am a fan of encouragement.  People in this category can benefit tremendously from a little confidence boost.  Sometimes, praising someone’s effort but fine-tuning their approach can make all the difference.  Conversely, when effort is low, excuses are high, and people are failing to follow through on their responsibilities, I never find encouragement effective.  Those times call for truth and tough love because if a person is not motivated to help themselves, nothing anyone says can help.  In these cases, I have found the most value in having people consider reasons they may be self-sabotaging.  Depending on the effort, a pat on the back may be the right strategy while other times, a kick in the butt is better.

A lesson I’ve learned.  There will be times in your life when you will be in pain, exhausted, grief stricken, lonely, bored, and/or worse.  You will find yourself on the ropes mentally and physically and these are likely to be some of the most brutal times you ever experience.  This will be when you most want to give up but when it is most important to keep battling.

I have learned through the loss of friends and family members (decades before their time), divorce, financial difficulties, painful races, and more; there are times when things will seem hopeless, senseless, and overwhelming.  When you get there, you only have two choices, keep going or quit. If you give up, it will get worse.  If you decide to keep going, it won’t feel amazing right away.  It’ll feel like a chore, but you must “embrace the suck” because every second you keep going will make you stronger and teach you a lesson.  Battling through the lowest points in life gave me confidence that I cannot and will not be broken.  If you are facing a tough time in your life, keep fighting because it will teach you the same.

Something I have found effective.  Have you ever had times in your life when you can’t seem to get out of your own head?  When you worry about all your problems day and night or over-analyze things to the point where you begin to annoy yourself?  I certainly have.  There are numerous ways to help with this, but I believe one of the most effective is finding a way to help others.

When you seek to help others, it provides a healthier perspective.  It reminds us that we are not the center of the world and that our problems may not be quite as large as we thought.  More importantly, it gives a feeling of satisfaction that you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life or circumstances.  Last Friday, I had a lot on my mind and was quieter than usual (I’m rarely quiet or have a bad day).  It was not my best day but after two minutes of volunteering my time at the Starry Night event that evening, my outlook was transformed.  I did not spend a second thinking of my “problems” for those five hours, and it got me back on track.  Even if you are going through a tough time yourself, try to help someone else.  It will make a tremendous and positive difference in your outlook. 

Some quotes I love.

“A bad system will beat a good person every time.” – W. Edwards Deming

“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” – Victor Kaim

“The biggest asset in the world is your mindset.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

“Don’t fear failure.  Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.” – Elissa Robertson

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 21st
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 14th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A concept from coaching that applies to life.  When I coach my football team, one of the things my assistant and I try to teach the kids is how to deal with bad plays.  Even the best players make mistakes, so it becomes crucial to deal with them in a constructive way.  We teach them to quickly evaluate the error and whether it was mental or physical so they can try to avoid it going forward.  More importantly, we teach them to have a short memory by forgetting the bad play and instantly getting focused on the next play.  This helps make sure one play doesn’t turn into two, a bad game, or lack of confidence.

This simple concept has profound applications in life.  When things go wrong (and they will), the key is to accept them and move on as quickly as possible.  Learn what you can from any errors you make and use that information going forward.  Making a mistake is never an excuse to stop trying, reduce your effort, or allow passion or enthusiasm to fade.  When you screw up, dust yourself off and get back in the fight.

A question we should all ask ourselves.  Anyone with gardening experience will know that for flowers to grow properly they will require the proper nutrients from sunlight, soil, and water.  Without the proper balance, nothing will grow as efficiently or effectively as possible.  As humans, we require our nutrients from what we ingest, how we treat our bodies physically, and what we put into our minds.

Therefore, an important question is what nutrients are you putting into your bodies from these areas?  Examples of poor nutrients are heavily processed and non-nutritious foods, alcohol, smoking, lack of exercise, heavy consumption of television and social media, avoiding challenges, poor relationships, and more.  Conversely, a healthy diet, avoiding toxic substances, exercising regularly, quality time with people that make you better, and avoiding excessive screen time will all stimulate your body and mind to perform better.  There is not a single thing in your life that will not be improved simply by increasing the good “nutrients” and decreasing the things that rob you of them. 

Something that helps me.  When I played football in high school and in college, I must have heard the phrase “the eye in the sky doesn’t lie” a million times.  This refers to the process of games, (and sometimes practices) being recorded, evaluated by the coaches, and then shown in front of the team.  Regardless of excuses, the “eye” always shows proof of effort and performance.  It was always nice to have personal highlights pointed out by the coaches, but the memorable times were when the coaches showed my embarrassing moments and total misses.  Those hurt, but they made me want to adjust, so they never happened again.

Having absorbed this concept from football, I find it helpful to apply it to my daily life.  I like to imagine that the eye in the sky is always on me as I treat patients, interact with my wife and children, coach my team, exercise/train, compete in races, and more.  My goal is to behave in a way that if I were to see those actions replayed to me on a screen, I would be proud.  Sometimes that happens effortlessly, while other times I would be mortified to see myself.  Imagining that all my actions could be played back to me has assisted me in striving for greater integrity and quality in everything I do.  What would the eye in the sky say about you?

A concept I utilize.  I have encountered many losses in my life.  These can be defeats in sports, business ventures or decisions that didn’t go right, coaching blunders, failures in races, and many more.  Regardless of the failure, I always like to do what I call “getting back in the lab.”  This means I do an honest assessment of what went wrong, how I failed, and why I failed.  Then, just as a scientist would, I begin to fix those mistakes by introducing innovative ideas, controlling variables, and eliminating things that proved not to be useful.  This is done alone with no fanfare.

Like anyone, I hate to fail.  That said, I really love the process of getting “back in the lab.” It is an opportunity to heal my wounds, restore my confidence, discover new approaches, and re-dedicate myself to meeting my goal.  I always find it empowering and I would estimate 90% of my greatest triumphs in life have come after I’ve done this.  If you have failed to succeed in something important to you, do not hide from it.  Accept your failure and get to work on how you’ll do better the next time by working through it on your own. 

Some quotes I love.

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” – Heraclitus

“You cannot see your reflection in boiling water.  Just like you cannot see truth in a state of anger.  You only find clarity when you are calm.”

“Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead.  It is only painful for others.  The same applies when you are stupid.” – Ricky Gervais

“Victims make excuses.  Leaders deliver results.” – Robin Sharma

“You become unstoppable when you fall in love with the process.  Not just the progress.” – Marcus Rice

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 14th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – March 31st

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A good lesson.  Years ago, I recall someone giving me advice on cooking.  First, they told me that the last thing I should be doing is to turn the burners on.  That was because if I blew past the necessary preparatory steps and skipped to the end, things would get missed or rushed and destroy the dish.  The other advice was that I was not yet experienced enough to improvise.  This was given to mean that I had not mastered the basics enough to make it up as I went.  Instead, I  needed to follow specific recipes to gain some of that information.  These are solid lessons for cooking, but I believe apply to life as well.

Good outcomes are a process.  They require the right amount of certain things (hard work, consistency, etc.) and less of others (poor habits, laziness, etc.).  As they are followed, you gain knowledge that allows you to improve and refine them in the future.  Picking a dish you want to make and following a recipe is no different than selecting a goal and following the necessary steps to achieve it.

An interesting interaction.  Several weeks ago, I wrote that I watch motivational videos on YouTube in the mornings to give me an extra boost that I use for my workout, morning routine, and workday.  I spoke to someone this week that told me they tried doing the same but that it “hasn’t helped.”  When I asked some follow up questions as to their routine, it turned out they were doing extraordinarily little.  They were expecting the motivation to carry them toward greater things.

Motivation is not magic, it will not make you do anything.  I like to think of motivation as the smallest of sparks that nudges you in a direction, but from there it is our job to follow through with action.  Motivation is fleeting and unpredictable and thus unreliable.  What can be relied upon is routine, consistency, and discipline.  Once those tenets are in place, only then can you use motivation to enhance them. 

Something I’ve reflected on.  Last month, I completed my 100-mile race as you know.  The race was set up to have five, twenty-mile laps.  As I neared the end of my 4th lap at mile 80, there were seven other runners finishing their 4th loop like me.  I could overhear pieces of conversations some were having.  Based on only hearing a sentence or two, I believed I knew who would quit and who would continue.  Of the eight of us, I thought six would quit once we finished the lap and I was correct. 

Though we were all literally at the same point in the race, some saw its completion as too daunting.  Those were the people I heard speaking negatively.  As they ended that lap, I watched some sit down and cover up with blankets and knew they were done.  The two of us that did not quit actually said nothing, and at the end of the lap, simply grabbed our supplies and headed back out.  The lesson I took from this is that sometimes the best thing you can do is not allow yourself any option other than to continue onward and keep battling.  You may not always succeed, but you will never look back with the  regret of quitting.          

Something that has helped me.  For years, I have conditioned my mind to remind me to “do extra.”  In other words, I want to do more (even just slightly more) than what is required or expected.  I utilize this premise in my physical endeavors with distance, time, and/or repetitions.  I also use it in my patient interactions and treatments with an extra tidbit of advice, following up to see if there are other issues I may be able to help with, or even just offering an encouraging word or two.  Regardless of what it is, the goal is to try to get slightly better in whatever I’m doing, each time I attempt it.  Training yourself to seek small, incremental improvements in any endeavor can lead to enormous progress. 

Some quotes I love.

“You don’t need more time.  You need less distractions.” – Jen Cohen

“Nothing will hurt more than knowing that you quit on yourself.  So don’t.” – Dr. Josh Handt

 “If you focus on the things you have, you’ll always have enough.  If you focus on the things you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.” 

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – March 31st
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